An Israeli Human Rights Lawyer Learns the Harsh Truth About Being a Politician

Even 20 years defending peace activists and Palestinians couldn’t fully prepare new Meretz lawmaker Gaby Lasky for the frustration she feels or the restraint she must show as a member of the strangest coalition in Israel’s history

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Gaby Lasky.
Gaby Lasky.
Shany Littman
Shany Littman

I got a call one Sunday late last month from Knesset Member Gaby Lasky. “Forget about everything I said,” she said, referring to two extensive conversations that we had had two weeks earlier, for the purposes of this article. “None of that is relevant anymore.”

In those earlier discussions, she had been careful to project a sense of cautious optimism, along with determination (perhaps, I would add, of the naïve kind), that she would not be forced to sacrifice her principles for the sake of holding together the broadly based governing coalition of which her Meretz party is a part. Now, her hopes had been dashed when Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared six Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations in the West Bank as terrorist groups, thus opening the door to seizing their assets and shutting them down.

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